Round 3 North Melbourne Review: The Giant Killing

Written by Dean Vasic (@deanvasic) on 11 April 2017   

It was another game of frustration, with turnovers being the main cause of defeat for North Melbourne. The class in the two teams were on display for everyone to see. GWS used the ball a lot better than North Melbourne and in the end got a comfortable 42 point victory, which could have been a lot more had it not been for inaccuracy in front of goal. The Kangaroos dished up 77 direct turnovers, which snuffed out any chance of an upset victory and GWS took full advantage. The player that’s been the talk of the last week Josh Kelly showed his class, with 31 possessions in a best on ground performance.

In the first quarter, North Melbourne had a 4-5 goal breeze and couldn’t take full advantage with constant turnovers going forward being the theme. Long bombs over the head to a leading Ben Brown and Todd Goldstein played in the hands of GWS, who were able to regain possession and work their way through the middle of the ground on the counter attack. Callan Ward, Dylan Shiel and Kelly were the dominant players in the first term, all having double figure possessions for GWS to hold a two point lead.

The second quarter started off well for the Roos, getting two goals in the first minute from Braydon Pruess and Andrew Swallow. The rest of the quarter was played in the back half for North Melbourne, with GWS kicking 3.7 to 0.2 for the remainder of the quarter to hold a 13 point lead at half-time. North tried to play a possession game in the second quarter against the breeze and had a little success, keeping the margin to within striking distance. Aaron Mullet had 15 possessions in the second quarter, working particularly hard, going from contest to contest and trying to give some much needed run from the backline.

The third quarter was always going to be crucial for North with the stiff breeze. It was a frustrating quarter with some questionable free-kicks going to both teams. North also turned the ball over consistently and went into the last quarter 14 points down. GWS showed its quality of depth and why it’s the premiership favourites. Steve Johnson and Jeremy Cameron kicked crucial goals, while Tom Scully, Toby Greene, Devon Smith and Shane Mumford all had influential third quarters.

The fourth quarter was always going to be an uphill battle for the Roos to try and win the game. It was a tight tussle for most of the quarter with the Giants kicking late goals to record a comfortable 42 point win in the end and put them at 2-1 for the season. North Melbourne drop to 17th and remain winless. It’ll be a big game for North on Friday night against the Western Bulldogs, and they’ll need to put on a good show to keep the Good Friday game for years to come.

Player Ratings

Marley Williams: 5/10
Had a tough battle in the backline and did turn the ball over a couple of times. Tried his heart out like always and continued to do the team things.

Robbie Tarrant: 6/10
Had 23 possessions and was good. Rotated through the big forwards from the Giants and has provided the link up play from the backline in the last couple of weeks, gathering 51 possessions. It’ll be interesting to see if that continues this week against the Bulldogs.

Jamie McMillan: 5/10
“JMac” has probably disappointed me a little this season, only because I expect more from the classy half-back. Didn’t have much influence on the game.

Luke McDonald: 6/10
Seems to be spending some time on the wing and up the ground. Is usually a good user of the ball on both sides of his body and hopefully, he continues to play up the ground more. Had 21 possessions with 487 metres gained.

Lachlan Hansen: 7/10
It continues to amaze me why this guy seems to be a scapegoat each week. Took 11 marks, including seven intercept marks. Went at 81 percent efficiency and seems to be remembered for the one turnover he committed in the last quarter. Had a great game and had it not been for him, the margin would have been greater.

Aaron Mullet: 7/10
The best game I have seen him play for years. Hopefully, this is a sign for the rest of the year. Ran hard and used the ball efficiently. 28 possessions with 511 metres gained is a very good game.

Shaun Atley: 4/10
Had a good second quarter, trying to provide some run into the wind. Other than that I didn’t see him too much. Will need more from him if the Roos are going to upset the Dogs this week.

Sam Durdin 3/10
He did some nice things, although had a few nervy moments in the game as well which proved costly. Scott Thompson is back this week, so it’ll be interesting to see if he keeps his spot in the team.

Ben Cunnington 4/10
Had a good start to the game with nine possessions in the first quarter. Not as good as last week though and seems to be a little too handball happy. Had four clearances and five tackles.

Todd Goldstein 4/10
Didn’t spend much time in the ruck which was surprising.  Played predominantly as a forward and didn’t get great service from the midfield in all fairness. Will be interesting to see if he plays ruck or mainly forward this week.

Nathan Hrovat: 4/10
Didn’t hit the scoreboard again this week and only went at 55 percent disposal efficiency. Is on the fringes now and will look for a big game against his former club this week.

Trent Dumont: 4/10
Kicked a nice goal in the third quarter and laid six tackles. Only had 14 possessions and went at 50 percent disposal efficiency. Needs to hit targets if he is going to be a good AFL player.

Ben Brown: 3/10
Struggled in the blustery conditions and against Phil Davis one on one. Only kicked a goal through a terrible free-kick against Davis. Just had one of those days, unfortunately.

Taylor Garner: 3/10
Similar to Brown in that he just had one of those days. Everything he seemed to do, just didn’t seem to go his way. 57 percent disposal efficiency really hurts.

Shaun Higgins: 4/10
A much quieter game from “Missy’ this week. He did a few nice things but is better than what he showed. He still got 390 meters gained from only 18 possessions, which shows his class.

Andrew Swallow: 4/10
Played a lot of the game at half-forward. I think he’s at the crossroads now in his career. Seems to be struggling with how quick the game is going. I wouldn’t question his heart but needs to find a role in this team and needs to find it soon.

Ryan Clarke: 4/10
Was a late call up for Majak Daw. He kicked a nice goal in the third quarter, but he could find his way back in the reserves this week. Didn’t have much influence on the game with only four possessions in the second half.

Sam Gibson 5/10
Tried hard with his gut running but was fairly quiet. Didn’t have the same influence on the game as last week.

Braydon Pruess: 7/10
Really impressed for the second week in a row and played in the ruck most of the game, ahead of Goldstein. Had 26 hit-outs, 16 Possessions, nine marks and kicked two goals against Shane Mumford. Is quickly becoming a fan favourite.

Lindsay Thomas: 4/10
Only kicked the one behind for the day. Had a tough day and will look to bounce back this week against the Dogs.

Kayne Turner: 4/10
Similar to Lindsay Thomas in that he didn’t have much influence. Kicked a goal in the last quarter and had 17 possessions. Cameron Zurhaar was impressive again in the VFL which keeps him under pressure.

Jack Ziebell: 8/10
A great bounce back game from the skipper after a disappointing outing against Geelong the week before. 28 possessions, 93 percent disposal efficiency, nine clearances and five tackles to lead from the front and clearly be North’s best player on the day.


3. J. Ziebell
2. L. Hansen
1. B. Pruess


6. S. Higgins
4. J. Ziebell
2. B. Cunnington
2. L. Hansen
2. B. Pruess
2. T. Goldstein

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